Impacts of climate change on storms and waves
David Woolf and Judith Wolf
Woolf, D. and Wolf, J. (2013) Impacts of climate change on storms and waves, MCCIP Science Review 2013, 20-26, doi:10.14465/2013.arc03.020-026
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There is a history of strong variability in UK wave climate. Inter-annual variability in the modern wave climate is strongest in the winter and can be related to atmospheric modes of variability, most notably the North Atlantic Oscillation. Rather dramatic increases in wave height occurred between 1960 and 1990, but these are now seen as just one feature within a longer history of variability. There is no clear pattern in results since 1990. Natural variability in wave climate is strong and the role of anthropogenic forcing is uncertain. There is as yet no consensus on the future storm and wave climate, stemming from diverse projections of future storm track behaviour, but new projections using the latest generation of climate models, under CMIP5 have yet to be fully assessed.